Candlemass – Psalms for the Dead

Label: Napalm Records
Release: 08-06-12

By Michael
What is it with bands these days that they feel like they should change their lead singer? After Kamelot and Dragonforce, Candlemass have split ways with Robert Lowe. According to Candlemass’ own website, this was due to (bad) quality of live performances. For the time being, Mats Levén has the honor of joining the band on stage.

For now, let’s focus on the album. Psalms of the Dead will be the last studio album from Candlemass, since the band wants to focus on live performances. It is hard to form an opinion after hearing the album once. Every time you pless play, you will discover new sounds.
I must say that even though the album is not as impressive as previous albums, Psalms for the Dead is still a pretty decent album. Robert Lowe’s vocals on the album are powerful and with passion. “Prophet” starts off as any typical song, but then quickly adds a catchy riff and Robert’s stunning voice. The faster “Dancing in the Temple (of the Mad Queen Bee)” hints towards power metal, with faster riffs en strong vocals.

“Waterwitch” has the perfect mood setting. Slow, yet in the middle a faster, pretty cool guitar solo. Title track “Psalms of the Dead” is in my opinion the best track of the album. This song is slow and the organs in the background accompany Robert’s singing in a perfect way. Mix this in with nice guitar riffs, solo’s and tempo changes and you get one killer song.
The weirdest part of the album is the last song, Black As Time. A narrator tells a standard, cliché and boring story about how dangerous time is. The music that follows brigns a decent end to the record. It’s a typical doom metal track with dark lyrics and an equally dark bass.

It is sad that this will be Candlemass’ last studio album. Especially since I feel that they can do so much better. The album is great, diverse and has a good sound. Yet it does not compare well with the much better previous albums. Even if you are a newcomer to Candlemass, this is a good album to get to know them, but it’s better to check out previous ones.

Rating: 75/100
1. Prophet
2. The Sound Of Dying Demons
3. Dancing In The Temple (Of The Mad Queen Bee)
4. Waterwitch
5. The Lights Of Thebe
6. Psalms For The Dead
7. The Killing Of The Sun
8. Siren Song
9. Black As Time